SUNY Optometry Opens Low Vision Center with Chinese Hospital
In June 2010, SUNY Optometry opened its Center of Excellence in Low Vision and Vision Rehabilitation at the Eye Hospital of Wenzhou Medical College in Wenzhou, China. The Center is a unique, cooperative project between Wenzhou Medical College and the SUNY College of Optometry.
It is estimated that by the third year of the partnership, a total of 10,000 visually impaired patients per year, ranging in age from children to the elderly, will be served at the Wenzhou facility. During the course of the project, eye care professionals and paraprofessionals from numerous locations throughout China will be trained to provide a wide range of services to the visually impaired.
The new Center of Excellence at Wenzhou is slated to become a model for the establishment of similar centers in other cities in China. It will also provide educational programs for doctors and for ancillary personnel in the proper referral for vision rehabilitation services, procedures for caring for the visually impaired and for working with patients and their families to enhance function and the quality of life. Supportive services are to be offered in areas such as the use of low vision devices, activities of daily living and psychological adjustment to visual disability.
An estimated 17 million individuals in China have low vision. With a dearth of eye and vision care professionals in the region providing quality care for the visually impaired, the Center of Excellence in Low Vision and Vision Rehabilitation will have a significant impact on the quality of life for thousands of Chinese.